What Does an Alternator Do?

Have you ever wondered, “What does an alternator do?” The alternator is one of your car’s most important components, sending power to the electrical systems when your car is running. You can think of the alternator as a sort of generator that is provided energy by the gas engine. Understanding how your car’s alternator works can help you feel more confident when you need service and maintenance. In the guide below, the Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Duluth service team shares some insight into how the alternator works, how to know if your alternator is going bad, and more.

How Do I Know if My Alternator is Going Bad?

If your alternator is on its last leg, you’ll probably experience some tell-tale signs while making your way through Lawrenceville. Symptoms of a bad alternator can include:

  • Headlights and interior lights losing brightness
  • Distinct whining or screeching sound after you start your car
  • Your car fails to start at all
  • Devices are not charging when you plug them into your car’s power sources
  • You smell something like burning rubber coming from under the hood
  • The battery warning light is lit up on your dash

Is it a Bad Alternator or a Bad Battery?

It’s very common to mistake a failing alternator for a failing battery. The easiest way to distinguish between the two is to simply wait until your vehicle requires a jump to start. Proceed with the usual steps to jump-start the engine. Once you remove the cables, if the car dies again immediately, you’ll know that the underlying issue is more than likely the alternator. At this point, your best course of action is to have your vehicle inspected by a professional technician.

What is the Average Lifespan of an Alternator?

You should be able to put in about 80,000 – 150,000 miles on Suwanee roads with the same alternator, or about seven years. With that said, there are some key factors that can result in your alternator dying earlier than expected:

  • The overall quality of the alternator
  • The driving conditions you encounter in Johns Creek
  • Power depletion due to faulty wiring

How Much is an Alternator Replacement?

So, how much is an alternator likely to cost you? The price you pay could be totally different than what another driver pays because different makes and models require different alternators. At Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Duluth, our parts department can help you track down the right alternator for your vehicle. Contact us for a quote today!

Schedule Alternator Service in Duluth

If you’re still wondering “what does an alternator do?” or you would like to have your alternator inspected, schedule a service appointment with Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Duluth. Our certified technicians can get to the root of the problem quickly and make a trusted recommendation to get you back on the road safely.

More from Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Duluth

  • 2022 Chevy Colorado Towing Capacity

    While the 2022 Chevrolet Colorado is technically a mid-size pickup, this beast offers performance on par with some of the biggest trucks around. For 2022, the Chevy Colorado towing capacity reaches a formidable 7,000 pounds. That’s more than enough muscle to help you take on work projects in Lawrenceville and weekend adventures in Suwanee. If…

  • What is the 2022 Chevy Blazer Towing Capacity?

    The new Chevy Blazer is a popular choice among adventurous drivers in Lawrenceville! With an available 3.6L V6 engine and a spacious cargo area, the 2022 Blazer can rise to any challenge with ease. But, how much can a Chevy Blazer tow? If you have lots of weekend toys or you’re an avid DIYer, this…

  • 2022 Chevy Equinox Towing Capacity

    If you’re impressed by the Chevy Equinox fuel economy and the fun range of colors, you might be ready to take the leap and upgrade your ride at Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Duluth. But some drivers will also want to know, can a Chevy Equinox tow? Yes! The 2022 Chevy Equinox towing capacity maxes out at 1,500 pounds. Learn…

Hendrick Vehicle Disclaimer
$849.00 Dealer Administrative Charge included in advertised price.

Advertised prices EXCLUDE options added by the dealer and displayed on the vehicle’s window sticker addendum. Please contact dealer for additional details.

All prices exclude all taxes, tag, title, registration fees and government fees. Out of state buyers are responsible for all taxes and government fees and title/registration fees in the state where the vehicle will be registered. All prices include all manufacturer to dealer incentives, which the dealer retains unless otherwise specifically provided. Dealer not responsible for errors and omissions; all offers subject to change without notice; please confirm listings with dealer. All vehicles may not be physically located at this dealership but may be available for delivery through this location. Transportation charges may apply. Please contact the dealership for more specific information. All vehicles are subject to prior sale..

Additional Disclaimers:


*APR and cash allowance vary by model. Length of contract limited. Must finance with GM Financial. Some customers may not qualify. Not available with lease and some other offers. Take new retail delivery by 7/5/22.

*APR and cash allowance vary by model. Length of contract limited. Must finance with GM Financial. Some customers may not qualify. Not available with lease and some other offers. Take new retail delivery by 7/5/22.

Connect With Us

Contact Us

$250 Off Any New Vehicle Purchase

After submitting your information, one of our representatives will reach out to you about this offer!

Limit one per customer. Offer is not valid on any price quotes that were given prior to the receipt of this offer.

Submit your information to receive this offer.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Duluth 33.9641, -84.1225.